Top twenty fun facts about Germany

This week, in a departure from our more educationally orientated articles, we’ve put together a list of top twenty fun facts about Germany that we think you, our readers, will find interesting. Lists of facts are highly individual and always controversial and no doubt yours will differ from ours, but here goes!

 

  1. Oktoberfest
    Every year, global pandemics aside, millions of Germans and tourists flock to Munich on their annual pilgrimage in worship of German beer! During the 2019 festival, 7.3 million litres of beer was consumed! Famed the world over for its beers, there are roughly 1,300 breweries in Germany producing over 5,000 different brands of beer. German beer takes a lot of beating!
     
  2. The German automobile industry
    Germany is one of the world’s biggest car producers. Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen are recognized world-wide for the superb quality of manufacture, luxury, and performance.
     
  3. Birkenstock sandals, founded in Germany nearly 250 years ago, are acknowledged the world over as the finest sandals and one of the most popular of German brands. Sported on the feet of the likes of Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow from the worlds of high fashion, or as comfy summer footwear for the ordinary ‘everyman’, “Birks” are synonymous with convenience and comfort.
     
  4. When JFK visited Berlin in 1963 against the backdrop of the Berlin wall, he declared the immortal lines “Ich bin ein Berliner” as a statement of solidarity, little realising that he had inadvertently declared himself to be a ‘jelly doughnut”!
     
  5. German is the most widely taught third language in the world.
     
  6. The German football team has never lost a penalty shootout in the World Cup, winning all four in which it has taken part.
     
  7. The Brother’s-Grimm fairy tales, such as Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Sleeping Beauty and countless more have been translated into over 100 languages. Their magical tales have delighted and inspired generations of children and many have been turned into films and cartoons by Walt Disney and others.
     
  8. Sausages! A rare case when wurst is best. Germany makes the best sausages in the world. No argument. Of the 1,200 different kind of sausage made in Germany, among the best known are Bratwurst, Blutwurst, Frankfurter, Knackwurst, Weisswurst and Weißwurst to name but a few.
     
  9. Sauerkraut has become, in recent years, been considered a ‘superfood’. Highly regarded for its significant health benefits. A low-calorie food, rich in essential vitamins, incredibly nutritious, as well as delicious, eating Sauerkraut helps strengthen the immune system and improve digestion.
     
  10. Christmas trees were introduced to the UK in 1848 by Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coberg and Gothe. Can you imagine Christmas without a Christmas tree? It’s thanks to Germany that these festive firs became the centrepieces of Christmas celebrations across the world.
     
  11. Donau­dampf­schifffahrts­elektrizitäten­haupt­betriebs­werk­bau­unter­beamten­gesellschaft at79 letters is the longest word to ever be published. It’s a compound word that roughly translates in English as Association for Subordinate Officials of the Main Maintenance Building of the Danube Steam Shipping Electrical Services
     
  12. Germany shares borders with nine other countries: Denmark, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, France, Luxemburg, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
     
  13. Aspirin was invented by German pharmaceutical giant Bayer. Probably the most widely used drug over the counter drug in the world with around 100 billion pills taken each year, aspirin, a ‘wonder-drug’ if ever there was, is used in the treatment of everything from headaches to heart attacks and strokes.
     
  14. Bread. Each region of Germany produces its own special variety of bread. Indeed, there are over 300 different varieties of bread in Germany. These range from the light, wheat breads in the south to the dark, heavy breads in the north. For Germans, bread isn’t just part of the daily diet, it’s very much a part of the culture.
     
  15. Freikoerperkultur (bare body culture), or nudism to you and me, is very much a part of German culture! So, don’t be unduly alarmed by the sight of public parks in summer filled with people wearing nothing more than a smile!
     
  16. Classical music. Nobody can be unaware of the influence that Germany has had on classical music. No other country on earth can boast such musical maestros as Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Wagner etc. But Germany has had an immeasurable impact on the modern music scene too. Kraftwerk were the pioneers of electronic music and the band’s work has influenced a diverse range of genres including synth-pop, hip-hop, techno and club music.
     
  17. Beer is considered a staple food in Bavaria! Known as ‘liquid bread’, a traditional hearty Bavarian Weißwurst breakfast includes sweet mustard, a pretzel and Bavarian wheat beer.
     
  18. David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy: Low, Heroes, and Lodger are considered musical highpoints of the great man’s career.
     
  19. University tuition fees were abolished in Germany in 2014, making university study free for Germans and internationals alike. So, if you’re looking for cost-free, first class tertiary education, there are few, if any, better places to do so than in Germany!
     
  20. Scorpions. Influential Heavy metal German rockers Scorpions achieved world-wide success and critical acclaim for their seminal single ‘Wind of Change’ in 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent reunification of Germany. It has been strongly rumoured in recent times that the CIA wrote, or played a role in the writing of this unforgettable politically and culturally influential ballad as a means of implanting the idea of change into the minds of the millions of fans; though these rumours are strongly denied by Scorpions band leader Klaus Meine.